PARIS: It was color-meets-menswear at Paris’ celebrity-filled Fashion Week this Saturday, with Solange Knowles chatting to James Bond “Skyfall” star Naomie Harris at Vivienne Westwood before heading on a plane home.
Meanwhile, French actress Emmanuelle Beart confessed she had fallen in love with Lebanese designer Elie Saab.
Here are the highlights of the fall-winter 2015 ready-to-wear shows including show reports from Mugler, Elie Saab and Vivienne Westwood.
VIVIENNE WESTWOOD’S GENDER BENDING
If Yves Saint Laurent could liberate women by dressing them in men’s tuxedos, then why shouldn’t fashion do the same, and reverse, for men?
That’s the question Vivienne Westwood explored in her bold and sexually ambiguous fall-winter collection.
A man in a huge billowing gold bustier dress came alongside a female model in a shouldered menswear “zoot” suit — worn in the ‘50s as a mark of rebelling against traditions.
If women dressing in menswear is the norm these days, she seemed to say, then why is it that men dressed in womenswear still raises eyebrows?
The thing was the entire collection seemed to raise eyebrows — albeit in a very good way — for its anarchistic and sometimes unfathomable gusto and humor.
Tinsel lined the catwalk, like the debris left after a crazy ‘70s disco, mirrored by Hula skirts, as worn by Polynesian men. (Westwood described these as a “bisexual” element.)
Then fast-forward a beautiful Romantic shoulder-less dress printed with a rose, a funky giant Persian printed cloak, a “Braveheart“-style draped tartan, the customary peaked-shoulders tuxedos — and even an Irish Leprechaun hat, then you have a very distinct fashion statement from a woman who has nothing more to prove to the men in her industry.
ELIE SAAB’S VARIATIONS
It was a creative and varied show from the popular Lebanese designer.
To rousing military music, the first looks surprised the fashion crowd by how un-Elie Saab they appeared: constructed silhouettes with chic military buttons, lining a long slender coat or a military jacket in black. It was, at first, a welcome darker, more menswear vibe.
Following on from the forest-theme in the strong couture show, here the decor was of trees. This was mirrored in the catwalk show by a dalliance with an earth green button up shirt, pant or loose sheath dress, and later, in floral embellishments on a short, fitted A-line mini dress.
For those va-va-voom Saab addicts there was also must to be had — including the trademark silk column silhouettes, one with a nice halter neck.
The signature styles were, however, nicely broken up by some must-have individual looks like one crimson leather fitted jacket and skirt with an enviable wide zigzag pleat.
EMMANUELLE BEART IS IN LOVE
French actress Beart sat pride of place on the Elie Saab front row.
The “Manon des Sources” star, who is a client, gushed about Saab’s designs.
“I’m looking for dreams, fantasies... I’ve been wearing Elie Saab for 20 years now: in Cannes, in movies, on theater onstage, you know,” she said, before declaring her undying passion for the 50-year-old.
“And I’m just madly in love with this man and I think he’s the greatest designer,” she added.
MUGLER’S SALEABLE FEMBOT
It’s the second outing for Mugler designer David Koma — who riffed on the theme of the fembot for his saleable fall-winter collection. A figure hugging black uber-mini dress with a demure turtle neck sported myriad grommets that resembled soldering dots.
Elsewhere, geometric sheer paneling on another knee-length number was twinned with a fantastic choker made of vertical metallic strips, followed by flashes of printed gold circuitry.
Later binary code black-and-white looks gave a lift to a menswear tuxedo jackets, or a sporty-looking armless sheath.
It was safe with a twist. -AP